February 24, 2020 admin

The suspect hit several police cars from St. Ann and Breckenridge Hills, damaging them, Jimenez said.

The events with the driver started in Warren County just before 3 a.m. Feb. 15.

A Wright City officer began pursuing the suspect after attempting to stop the vehicle for expired temporary plates, Wright City police Chief Matt Eskew said.

The officer ended the pursuit after about 20 miles on Interstate 70 near Mid Rivers Mall in St. Peters when speeds began to top 80 mph, Eskew said.

A St. Ann officer later spotted the fleeing driver on I-70 and tried to pull him over. When the driver did not stop, the officer launched a Starchase GPS tracker that attached to the car, Jimenez said.

“The officer thought it might be a DWI by the way he was driving,” Jimenez said.

Jimenez said the officer then fell back and tracked the driver through the GPS to the Woodson Terrace street where the shooting occurred, about 40 miles from where the Wright City police pursuit began.

After the driver swerved at the officer, he got back on Interstate 70, and St. Ann police pursued him on the interstate and into St. Charles.

“He went over spike strips a total of three times,” Jimenez said.

The car was disabled by St. Charles police strips on Highway 94 near Interstate 370. The suspect ran from his car but was taken into custody by St. Ann police with the help of a police dog, Jimenez said.

The suspect, Darin Smith, 48, of St. Joseph, was charged with second-degree assault of a special victim, driving while intoxicated and resisting arrest.

He has several past felony convictions on charges that include drug possession, stealing, tampering with a motor vehicle and resisting arrest.

St. Ann police said in court documents that Smith appeared to be intoxicated when he was taken into custody. He refused a breathalyzer test, charging documents said.

St. Ann police have previously been in the news for police pursuits. The Post-Dispatch found that in 2018 the department of about 50 officers had more chases than the St. Louis County Police Department’s 950 officers and nearly as many as the 1,200 officers with St. Louis city police.

Since then, the department has changed its chase policy and stopped pursuits for minor offenses.

Jiminez said the officer’s use of force will be further investigated after the officer has a few days to recover.

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